The Rutgers men’s basketball team is now tied for second place in the Big Ten standings after Wednesday night’s victory over Indiana. Here is a look at where the conference stands 30% of the way through the regular season schedule.
With every win, national respect and attention grows. Here is a summary of some local and national reactions across Twitter as Rutgers continues to build a strong NCAA Tournament resume:
Nicole Auerbach, Senior Writer for The Athletic
Rutgers is going to make the NCAA Tournament, folks. Start mentally preparing yourselves.— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) January 16, 2020
Nodding in agreement.
Andy Katz, longtime basketball writer formerly of ESPN, now BTN, FS1 & NCAA
Sweet dunk from Geo Baker. I'm not worried about OldTakesExposed. I'm locking in @RutgersMBB. This squad is going to end up in @marchmadness for the first time since 1991. They are playing too well to fold. https://t.co/hAkzBR9Lqz— Andy Katz (@TheAndyKatz) January 16, 2020
I’m not going to argue with you Andy and this was my sentiment exactly in this article after last week’s win over Penn State. The toughness of this team breeds confidence they aren’t going to fade in the slightest as March nears.
Andy spreading the gospel on BTN in addition to Twitter.
Jeff Goodman, National basketball writer for The Stadium
Rutgers takes another step towards its first NCAA tourney appearance since 1991 with a home win over Indiana.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) January 16, 2020
Hell of a homecourt advantage at the RAC:
Goodman has been a fan of Steve Pikiell for awhile now and continues to give the program respect.
Reactions to Geo Baker’s dunk:
You knew Baker’s dunk had to make SportCenter’s top ten plays of the day and so close to the top one, but we should gladly take no. 2!
This was the best dunk I've seen in person this year. Rutgers is now a remarkable 12-0 at home. https://t.co/wUCqLu1Ovu— Kevin Kugler (@kevinkugler) January 16, 2020
The top play by play announcer for BTN was impressed with the thunderous jam from the captain.
Have a listen to Jerry Recco and Joe Boylan's radio call of Geo Baker's monster dunk against Indiana: pic.twitter.com/GkvmJFuiZS— Brian Fonseca (@briannnnf) January 16, 2020
If you’ve never listened to Jerry Recco, who was on our podcast last week, and former Rutgers assistant Joe Boylan’s radio broadcast during games, I highly recommend that you do. They are fantastic and this call of the Baker dunk was extraordinary! Great work by old friend and former OTB contributor Brian Fonseca on getting this footage under the basket.
Rutgers is good at basketball. I repeat: Rutgers is good at basketball.— Steve Politi (@StevePoliti) January 16, 2020
I love when Politi gets into basketball and this team has done just that, which is progress in its own right.
Tonight's college basketball final score:— Jerry Carino (@NJHoopsHaven) January 16, 2020
New Jersey 2, Indiana 0
The preeminent basketball writer in the garden state, Jerry Carino, with a classic tweet after Rutgers knocked off the Hoosiers and Seton Hall took down no. 5 Butler on the road.
Every Seton Hall win is a win for Rutgers resume. This is the rare year where both teams should actually be rooting for each other.— Brad Wachtel (@bwachtel23) January 16, 2020
Local bracketologist and former Rutgers team manager Brad Wachtel has been highlighting the merits of this team’s NCAA resume for a month now.
The “We Want Cliff” Chant
Time to give props to our own Dave White, who after reading Adam Zagoria’s article on prized in-state recruit Cliff Omoruyi including Rutgers in his final five schools, tweeted to the Riot Squad an idea to acknowledge the big man during the Indiana game.
Well, the Riot Squad delivered and it spread throughout the entire RAC and produced quite a moment.
By the way, let’s get that usher in the grey sweater a raise. Tremendous effort by that man.
Cliff Omoruyi acknowledged the moment on Twitter this morning.
Appreciate the love from the fans yesterday at the rac https://t.co/vN6WShTO8B— Bigcliff77 (@wizcliff77) January 16, 2020
There is no denying that Rutgers has an uphill battle to ultimately land the top 50 recruit in the class of 2020 from Roselle Catholic, but wins like last night in an environment that it was certainly can’t hurt.
And lastly, we end with CBS Sports national writer Jon Rothstein’s catch phrase for head coach Steve Pikiell.....
Steve Pikiell. Pounding Nails.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) January 16, 2020